What Is the Best Pill Packing System for Your Pharmacy

If you pharmaceutical or medical practice is looking for the most efficient way to pack pills there are several options that you can explore. Prescription pills come in various quantities and sizes, and there are many ways to distribute these medications to your patients, but finding an option that is quick, affordable, and accurate, is best for your business and customers. Blister packs, vials, and even padded mailers have all become popular methods of delivering prescription medications. If you are looking to explore these options for your practice, you should understand how each system works and the benefits of each method. Whether you choose one primary system or a combination of many, be sure that whatever method you choose is what will be the most effective for your particular needs. 

Popular Pill Packing Systems

  • Blister Packs – This system uses pre-formed plastic to seal medication into convenient cardboard or foil backed packs, that allow you to access one dose at a time. Blister packs can accommodate 9-90 day supplies of any size or shape pill.
  • Prescription Vials – Prescription vials are the traditional tubes that hold loose pills and are concealed with child proof lids. These vials are affordable and easy to fill quickly.
  • Padded Envelopes for Prescription Shipping – Many pharmacies are beginning to ship prescriptions to their patients for added convenience and discretion. If you are mailing prescription meds, you should use padded mailers that protect the medication, allowing it to arrive intact and ready to use. This method is ideal for patients who cannot easily travel to pick up their medication.

Shopping for a Pill Packing System?

Drug package has over 100 years of pharmaceutical experience and knowledge to help you find the best system for your needs. To learn more about Drug Package and our pill packing systems, contact us today!

Durable Medication Pill Cards – Necessary Pharmacy Supplies

Medication pill cards are a great packaging option for prescription medications, that will effectively protect medication in packaging that is easy to use for both the consumer and the provider. Medication pill cards from Drug Package, LLC have a revolutionary two piece, tri fold design, that allow pills to be easily placed and then sealed during assembly. This card design is just as easy to use for the consumer as medication can be simply accessed and tracked on the easy to read packaging. The tri fold packaging provides a day counter for the consumer that allows medication and dosage to be tracked day by day, ensuring medication is taken correctly and on time. If your pharmacy or medical practice is interested in this durable, easy to use packaging, Drug Package, LLC can help you find the best durable medication pill cards for your needs.

Benefits of Durable Medication Pill Cards

  • Our pill cards are class B approved packaging.
  • We offer customization of pill cards that allow you to include branding such as logos, store information, slogans, and other info that help keep your packaging memorable and your customers coming back.
  • These pill cards are also offered in three different sizes from medium to extra-large, making Drug Package’s medication pill cards easily compatible with various prescriptions.
  • The two-piece book design of the pill card adds extra protection for the enclosed pills while providing ample space for verbiage and important prescription information on the packaging.

Who Is Drug Package, LLC?

Drug Package, LLC is North America’s first choice provider of pharmacy supplies. Drug Package provides pharmacies, long term care facilities, and doctor’s offices with supplies like pill cards, medication carts, prescription labels, and more all at affordable prices. Drug Package has been in operation since 1881 and with over 100 years of experience under their belt, they have become pharmacy supply experts. Drug Package is a one stop shop for everything your pharmacy needs to run smoothly. Contact us today or browse our online products here.

Discover our Two-Piece Heat Seal Medication Cards

At Drug Package LLC, we pride ourselves on leading the way with innovation in design and manufacture of easy to fill, economically priced blister cards. Our cards already provide excellent medication security and management for retirement centers, long term care centers, correctional facilities as well as home care. While we offer both heat and cold seal medication cards, today we are going to discuss the features and benefits of our two-piece heat seal medication card. Below are a few key features of our two-piece heat seal medication cards. After reading, if you have any further questions about this product or any of our other pharmacy supplies, just give us a call 1-800-325-6137. Our knowledgeable and friendly sales staff can answer your questions or take your order. You can also order conveniently online here.

Two Piece Heat Seal Medication Card Features 

  • Medium, large and extra large available
  • Unique ribbon printing design highlights countdown for visual reorder
  • Two-piece book design provides for choice of blister
  • Two-piece tri fold provides days of the week record keeping (32-day max)
  • Plenty of printing space for branding and labeling information
  • Approved Class B packaging
  • Cards can be customized with your pharmacy name and logo

Our two-piece cards provide secure medication packaging when properly assembled and sealed. Pills are well protected as blisters are backed with strong paper back foil.

Heat Seal Machinery

Drug Package offers a variety of dependable, precision engineered Heat Sealing Machines, one just right for your facility’s needs. Choose from machines in a variety of sizes and styles.

Place Your Order Today

If you need to inquire about our heat seal machinery, or if you’d like to order heat seal medication cards from Drug Package, please call us today at 1-800-325-6137. We also offer convenient online ordering using our secure order form. We look forward to helping you and your pharmacy!

Products for Pharmacies: What is a Pill Card?

When we think of containers for prescriptions, amber-colored pill vials often come to mind. The durable, plastic vials that feature white safety lids have served pharmacies and their customers well for decades, but they aren’t the best option for all prescription users. When it comes to medication adherence, some people do better when they receive medication packaged in a pill card.

A pill card (also referred to as a “blister pack”) is a flat piece of material whose front is typically made from plastic or a combination of plastic and paper. The back is made from thin paper or foil. The plastic features blisters that contain pills. When patients need medicine, they remove the paper by peeling it away, press the pill through the paper, or press the pill through the foil.

Types of Pill Cards

There are several pill card styles. At Drug Package, our line of pill cards includes the following four styles. We should also mention we supply software and equipment for performing pill card dispensing and card sealing processes.

1. Cold Seal Cards

Styles of cold seal cards we offer include: one piece cards, two piece cards, multi med home care kits, and controlled unit dose cards, and mult-imed home care kits..

2. Heat Seal Cards

As their name implies, medication is sealed in these cards using a heat press (also known as a thermal press). Types of heat seal cards we offer include: one piece cards and two piece cards.

3. Short Cycle Medication Cards

Because they serve a specific purpose, short cycle medication cards are in their own category. Using cold sealing or heat sealing, they store medications that are taken for between seven and 14 days.

4. Personalized Medication Cards

Personalized for the needs of certain customers, personalized medication cards can be cold sealed or heat sealed. To see your options, check out our Personalized Med Cards page.

Benefits of Pill Cards

Pill cards offer different benefits for different patient populations. For example, a pill card with delicate foil backing can help hand arthritis sufferers remove medication, and a personalized label can be printed with dosing instructions to assist patients with memory problems. Furthermore, there are four benefits that practically all types of pill cards offer.

  • Easy to organize medication
  • Easy to notice if dose is missed
  • Easy to carry (e.g., option to carry individual doses when card is perforated)
  • Simplifies prescription administration for caregivers

Pill cards help improve medication adherence in people who are good candidates for them. By extension, the cards have a positive effect on health outcomes, which helps reduce avoidable healthcare costs. These ubiquitous benefits apply in all situations.

Ordering Pill Cards

If you need a new pill card supplier, or your pharmacy is ordering pill cards for the first time, getting cards from us is a great choice. With over 135 years in business and the capability to custom print, we have the experience and specialization you need in a supplier.

For more information about our pill card products, visit our Medication Blister Cards page, or call us at (800) 325-6137. You can also reach us through our contact form. We look forward to evaluating your pill card needs and seeing how we can help.

What are the Keys to Successful Geriatric Medication Management?

Providing healthcare to elderly individuals is a big job and one of the hardest tasks is medication management. Geriatrics involves caring for and promoting good health in older adults. As a professional in this area or medication provider, the overall goal is to prevent problems and guarantee proper administration of all prescriptions. It is common for an aging individual to have one or more health problems, which require multiple medications.

On average, three out of four individuals surpassing age 65 will have one if not more chronic health conditions. This creates a scenario where multiple prescriptions might be needed to manage conditions such as high blood pressure, arthritis, or even Alzheimer’s during their everyday lives. Knowing what medications need to be taken, frequency, and amounts is an imperative part of this process. Geriatric medication management prevents harm caused by the following:

  • Missed or Skipped Doses
  • Doubling or Tripling of Doses
  • Mixing the Wrong Medications
  • Not Following Medicine Instructions

A large percentage of the elderly are also taking an incorrectly prescribed medicine. At the same time, an extensive number of hospital admittances are directly due to adverse reactions. It is also easy for an individual to forget to take a dose or to double up on a dose. Geriatric medication management is important whether you are a healthcare provider or a pharmacy fulfilling a customer’s prescription. Many measures can be taken both in packaging these items and when providing care to prevent these potential problems from occurring.

Tips for Managing Prescriptions and Doses

It is important for geriatric care providers to know what medications have been prescribed and to take steps to properly manage them. When an elderly patient or individual must take multiple prescriptions for different conditions, it is sometimes referred to as polypharmacy. This scenario becomes a health hazard when the medicines do not work together or create adverse health effects. Here are a few key things pharmacists can do to reduce the chance of these occurrences:

  • Take Measures to Ensure Label Readability
  • Using Clear, Concise Instructions
  • Explain Why the Medication is Needed
  • Make Certain the Dosage Fits the Age Group
  • Provide Plenty of Documentation
  • Be Available for Questions
  • Know What Medications Harm the Elderly
  • Become Familiar with Medicine Side Effects
  • Using Packaging to Promote Better Management

Regardless of what side you are on in the geriatric medication management battle, there are steps that can be taken to prevent harm to the patient. As a health care provider, it is essential to know the patient’s prescriptions, side effects, and to use a system for monitoring doses. Pharmacists should take action to make certain the proper information is provided as well as follow the key items mentioned above.

Blister-packsPackaging and labeling products play a pivotal role in these measures, as the wrong items will smudge, bleed, bust, or make it hard to monitor doses. If you are wanting to take steps to improve geriatric medication management for your customers or patients, the team at Drug Package is here to help. We offer a wide range of packaging solutions including standard or custom blister packs designed to assist with proper administration and management of meds.

Can a Blister Packaging Machine Save our Pharmacy Money?

Blister packaging isn’t a newfangled technology. For about five decades, blister packs have housed nearly every kind of prescription pill you can imagine, after first being used to package female contraceptives (a.k.a. “birth control”).

In those 50 years, blister packaging has become more than a popular product; it’s become an industry. Pharmacies and product engineers combine their knowledge to develop solutions for improving the packaging process and the packaging itself. Blister packaging machines are good examples of these solutions.

Financial Benefits    

From a financial standpoint, the worst thing that could happen from a prescription packaging error is a valid injury claim — an event that could damage reputation as much as finances. Thankfully, those situations happen to the minority of pharmacies. In most cases, the greatest financial benefits of a blister packaging machine come in the form of saved material costs and — if the demand is there — higher dispensing rates.

How much you profit from the machine depends a lot on which model you choose, and which technology it uses — heat seal or cold seal.

The main appeal of the cold seal is that it doesn’t take as much energy or time as heat sealing, while still providing a highly reliable bond. Heat sealing provides an exceptionally durable bond between blister sheet and card.

The heat seal process isn’t as energy efficient as the cold seal procedure. But with heat sealing, the main point is making gains in customer care, particularly when you have a large blister card population to support. Even so, the technology you use will impact how much you save, and so will the reliability and energy efficiency of the model you choose.

Like to Know More?

If you’d like to learn more about how a blister packaging machine can save your pharmacy money — and which sealing technology is right for your needs — contact us today at (800) 325-6137, or send us an email through our contact form. We offer heat sealing and cold sealing machines for blister packs and a wide variety of blister packs that accommodate them.

 

 

Types of Blister Packaging and How Pharmacies Benefit

Blister packaging is a term encompassing any packing design consisting of pre-formed plastic attached to a backing or that folds together to form a seal. It is used for smaller consumer merchandise such as food, electronics, and pharmaceuticals. As a common form of packaging amidst a number of industries, it is used to securely store a broad range of products from pharmaceuticals to consumer goods. The five most common types of blister packaging are:

  • Face Seal – The molded plastic is formed around the product and sealed to a card, but may not cover the entire card.
  • Full Blister – The plastic not only surrounds the product, but also the entire card. In this instance, the plastic is either heat sealed to the card or slid through additional plastic pieces on each side.
  • Trapped Blister – The plastic resides between two cards sealed together where the opening on the front card is die-cut.
  • Clamshell – This is a hinged blister where two sides fold together to create a closed container.
  • Pharmaceutical – Typically used for pills or unit doses, the molded plastic fits the shape of the product and is sealed with a paperboard or aluminum foil backing.

In the pharmaceutical industry, the selection can sometimes seem overwhelming. Among the choices you will be presented with or different types of seals, different backings, and even custom designs. For example, the cold seal option is great for filling prescriptions on site; however, a heat seal is the most affordable choice for selling a product with specific counts. For many companies, the choice of cold or heat seal often comes down to how they will be filled, if it is a multi-pack, and the refill frequency. Custom solutions containing the company name, logo, address, and other information may be incorporated on this type of packaging as well.

Why Do Pharmacies Choose This Option?

If you are wondering why so many companies choose this packaging option, one of the biggest reasons is better product protection from tampering, moisture, and outside elements. When the package has been damaged in some way it is visibly obvious, whether the item was tampered with or simply harmed during the transition. Further benefits gained by any pharmacy from this choice include:

  • The Product Remains Visible
  • Provides Larger Design Area
  • More Cost Effective
  • Offers Increased Product Security
  • Deterrent from Tampering
  • Easier to Produce in High Volume
  • Offers Clean Space for Instructions
  • Broader Range of Colors and Designs

Beyond these, blister packs and cards also provide marketing advantages because they may contain promotional materials or additional advertisements. Custom designs may be used to further promote the company brand without drastically increasing costs. Other forms of packaging do not always offer this benefit due to limited space or in some cases the materials.

At Drug Package we understand how important it is to have the right materials and design for effectively storing individual prescriptions or over-the-counter medications. We offer several packaging options to ensure you get the right design for your needs. Additionally, our types of blister packaging include both heat and cold sealed options. Give us a call today to learn more about our packaging choices.

Medication Adherence Support: Prescriptions Patients Stop Prematurely

Medication adherence support is a discipline in which patients receive assistance with taking medication, as directed by a physician. The support can come from the prescriber’s office, the pharmacy, pharmacy packaging solutions, or all three.

However, some prescriptions — particularly ones that are commonly discontinued prematurely — naturally require a higher level of adherence support than others. Below, we look at four classes of medication that fall into this category, explain why they are commonly discontinued, and discuss how the discontinuance can adversely affect health outcomes.

  1. Antipsychotics

For a condition such as schizophrenia, antipsychotics such as Seroquel and Zyprexa can be magic bullets that restore mental order. The drug can work so well, in fact, that the patient begins to feel “normal” and decides that the medication isn’t necessary anymore.

Unfortunately, after discontinuing the drug, it can become quickly apparent that the medication is necessary. If a patient relapses, a short hospital stay to restabilize him or her on the medication is often in order. At the very least, it’s a situation that interrupts the person’s life in a major way and results in medical costs that medication adherence support can help prevent.

  1. Antibiotics

When a person has the flu, the doctor is likely to prescribe Tamiflu or an older generation antibiotic, such as Augmentin. These medications and other antibiotics are highly effective at fighting microbial carnage in the body that makes us feel like staying in bed all day. However, as with antipsychotics, many people stop taking antibiotics when they start to feel better, and not when all of the offending microbes are gone.

Not completing a full course of antibiotics can allow the weakened illness to regain strength, seem to redouble its miserable effects, and necessitate taking another round of medicine. When dealing with a potentially deadly illness such as the flu, this is a situation anyone should avoid.

  1. Antidepressants

Whereas antipsychotics and antibiotics are often discontinued because the patient starts to feel better, antidepressants are often stopped because the person doesn’t start to feel better — at least not as quickly as hoped. Different classes of antidepressants have different actions in the body, but doctors generally recommend taking them for at least a couple of weeks to get the full benefit.

Here, the typical outcome from non-adherence is fairly obvious: The depression doesn’t abate, which could be a life threatening situation depending on the severity of the illness. Because depression can cause a sense of listlessness and indifference in the first place, depressed patients are a population that stands to benefit from medication adherence support.

  1. Antiepileptics

Epilepsy is a disease of the central nervous system that causes some sufferers to have seizures. Because the seizures are difficult to predict and often occur without warning, epileptic patients often take a daily antiepileptic drug, such as Lyrica or its predecessor, Neurontin.

Because the drug works by slowing down electrical impulses in the brain that cause seizures, it’s generally taken on regular basis to prevent breakthrough seizures. When the drug works, and seizures are kept at bay, the patient can have a false sense of confidence about his or her condition, and stop taking the medication. Because epileptic seizures can be deadly, epileptics are a prime target for medication adherence support.

 

How Drug Package Can Help

The medications above are just a few of the many medicines that are commonly discontinued prematurely for one reason or another. Regardless of why a prescription is stopped too soon, failure to adequately treat the illness or recover from it is often the result. In addition to harming the patient, this scenario can also be responsible for unnecessary medical costs.

Drug Package can help your pharmacy perform medication adherence support for at-risk populations by providing custom or stock auxiliary labels, blister cards and much more. To inquire about our medication adherence solutions, please call us today at (800) 325-6137, or use our contact form. We look forward to hearing from you.

Using Blister Pill Cards to Improve Medication Therapy Management

medication therapy managementA recent medical survey showed that Medicare patients who were evaluated and determined to be low risk, and entered home stabilized health care and received medication therapy management were much less likely to be hospitalized within the next several months. However, those patients who were evaluated and determined to be at a greater risk received little, to no benefit from medication therapy management, according to the same study, which was conducted at Purdue University. Purdue University medical professionals put forth this study to help determine which patients benefit most from medication therapy management, while at the same time optimizing a method of identifying high versus low risk patients through a standardized risk score.

In case you are unfamiliar with the purpose of medication therapy management, it is a medical care service provided by pharmacists that assists in the evaluation of medications prescribed, and how a patient subsequently feels and reacts to the prescribed medication in both the short and long term. Medication therapy management helps identify and resolve potential medication issues, such as untreated conditions that persist, initially unforeseeable drug interactions, adverse drug reactions once treatment commences, inappropriately ingested drugs or doses, and whether a patient is correctly taking the medications as prescribed. Medication therapy management maximizes accurate patient assessment, offers a more comprehensive medication review, and helps with formulating a more effective medication treatment plan.

Because the study showed little to no progress for high-risk patients who entered at home health care and received medication therapy management, it is most likely that adding methods of ensuring optimal medication therapy management conditions could improve the situation, and should, at the very least, be considered. Using blister pill cards can help improve medication therapy management. For at home patients currently under medication therapy management, these blisters can help with organizing the correct dosage of medication to be taken, each and every day, and at the appropriate time. Using blister pill cards allows patients to place their needed medication in pockets that can be labeled with the necessary dosage amount, type of prescribed drug, along with the date and time the dosage needs to be taken.

home-care-kitThe fact is, at home, high-risk patients with prescriptions often forget to take their medication and/or take the wrong amount. This negatively effects medication therapy management. With the induction of blister pill cards, the concern of improper taking of medication can be eradicated, and will help improve overall medication therapy management.

Drug Package, Inc. can help reduce medication errors with medication blister cards. These economically designed blister cards are designed and  manufactured to be easy to fill with simple instructions to follow. Patients will organize their medications so that the proper dosage will be taken at the proper time. There is also room to make notes of any side effects or conditions that occurred before or after the dosage. Call Drug Package today at 1-800-325-6137 to get details.